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"Thank you, God, Anne and Boom!"
Roxbury Youthworks, Inc. (RYI) is a community-based, minority non-profit founded in 1981 pursuant to the findings of a study panel convened by Justice Julian Houston (now retired) then a newly appointed justice of the Roxbury Juvenile Court. The panel was convened in response to Judge Houston's recognition of the many emotional, social, and behavioral difficulties of youth and their families appearing before the court. The panel documented both the multiple and profound difficulties of the population served by the court and the serious lack of organizations dedicated to service of these court-involved youth. The youth were over 90% persons of color whose families were living below or near the poverty level in a turbulent environment then marked by an explosion of youth delinquency. Although the rates of delinquency have abated over the last decade, partially to the credit of agencies such as RYI, the complexity of those involved with the courts and the scarcity of resources continue as problems. RYI has, over its more than three decades of service, remained committed to court-involved and at risk juveniles in the neighborhoods served by the court and beyond; and continuously acquires knowledge of the youth, families, and communities. We have grown in size and expertise to effectively serve over 250 youth each year.